It can be difficult to grasp the beauty of the American Southwest, but Art Unified artist Susan Haynsworth's dreamy, ephemeral collages provide sufficient explanation. Her love of collage began in childhood, and has followed her around the world. Haynsworth manipulates images inspired by dreams, ephemera, natural environments and Americana, cutting them up and massaging them into artworks whose final effects are much greater than the sum of their parts. Like the dreams they're inspired by, Haynsworth's work prompts its viewers to lean in, listen for its whisper and take a closer look. We're stoked to do the same here for this sojourning artist, as she talks to us about Bauhaus, her pet rabbit Boo Radley, and getting caught doodling in class, in this week's installment of Inside the Artist's Studio.


"Many of the innovators of Los Angeles have inspired me, from Charles and Ray Eames to the Z-Boys."


Art Unified: Where did you gather inspiration for your latest work of art?

Susan Haynsworth: I get a lot of inspiration from the environment that I'm living in: the design, colors, architecture, people, and energy on the street, is all reflected in my art. I often use female imagery, and incorporate my love of the sea and travel. The constant in my art has always been the use of vintage ephemera and the use of color, whether I was living in New Mexico, Hawaii, or California.


AU: What materials do you use to make your art? What about those materials made you choose them over others?

SH:  Ever since I was a child, I've loved collage. Whenever I see it, it still captivates me. Some of my original influences were from the Bauhaus and Dada movements, and I loved the way these artists used image and design together. Since my father was a graphic designer, I grew up studying magazine images and advertising. I collect vintage magazines, and find them to be an amazing combination of Western culture and fantasy. I began using them years ago in collage-assemblage box constructions that I built out of wood, but eventually transitioned to working on paper. Over time, the use of color has become more important in my art.


AU: What about Southern California made you decide to create you work here?

SH: As a visual person, light and color have a huge influence on my work. The arid, coastal climate of Southern California creates an ideal environment for many artists, and it's history of being an experimental place for architects, painters, designers, and musicians is huge. Creative people have always felt that it was a good place to try something new, be it skateboarding, natural food, surfing, spirituality, or art. Many of the innovators of Los Angeles have inspired me, from Charles and Ray Eames to the Z-Boys.


"They're two of the few places in this country that embrace free thinking, experimentation, and raw creativity."


AU: What's your favorite or most inspirational place in Southern California?

SH: I lived in Taos, New Mexico for many years before moving to Santa Monica. I was aware that there was a major connection between Taos and Venice, California, and felt an affinity with it. Some well known creative Taos residents such as Larry Bell, Dennis Hopper, Ken Price, and others, spent time in both places. Taos and Venice are very different, but are kindred spirits and complementary opposites. They're two of the few places in this country that embrace free thinking, experimentation, and raw creativity.


AU: Describe the turning point in your life that made you realize you were an artist?

SH: Because my father was an artist, I was fortunate to grow up seeing someone make their living this way. I had a friend at my university whose parents practically disowned him because he decided to go to art school, and had made an "impractical" choice for a vocation. I was encouraged on this path, and always believed it was possible. Getting recognition from the outside world by selling work and exhibiting can be validating to an artist's self worth, which historically is known to be challenged by the fact that art isn't always supported in our culture. A few events early on, such as the acceptance into a juried photography exhibition and winning a cash award in a poster design competition while still in art school, raised my confidence, and 20 years ago I sold my first assemblage to a collector in Taos. While it's very important to make art for art's sake, getting paid for your creativity makes all the difference between being able to do art full time, and doing it between other jobs.


AU: Are there aspects of the art world that you do not approve of? Did any of those aspects lead you to move toward Art Unified?

SH: The art world has changed dramatically in recent years, and the internet has made it possible for artists to be more autonomous, and not necessarily have to rely on galleries. However, I think it's also important to have art out in the world for people to experience in person. Only a very small percentage of the population makes it into galleries, but if art is in a café, bank, shopping area, office building, or airport, a much larger and diverse audience gets to see it. Art Unified gets the artist's work out into the world, and into places where it can get wider exposure. This is not only good for the artist, but also for the businesses themselves: having art in our environment benefits everyone.


AU: What has your experience been with Art Unified? How did you get involved?

SH: A photographer friend of mine in Venice encouraged me to submit my work to Art Unified. I really liked their concept for getting artist's work in public spaces; it's something I've been interested in for a long time, as it's often the missing link between art and people. I've had great experiences with the AU, showing once in Downtown LA, and again at a large home decor retailer in Santa Monica. In both cases, people that I knew commented that they had seem the work there, and I also know that a large cross section of the public, who might not have otherwise, saw them as well.


AU: What is your studio or preferred place of work? What is it like working there? Do you have any particular habits when you work?

SH: I work from home in Santa Monica, which I love because I can get into the studio whenever I like without having to go far. I tend to be pretty tidy, but when I'm working on art, I lay my images out all over the room so that I can see them together and choose the ones I want to use for a particular collage. After the scissor cutting begins, the floor becomes covered with scraps of paper! I like that I can walk away from it periodically into my more Zen living space. Because I collect magazines for my work, my studio is filled with them, and I like to refer to it as my "image "bank". This is the only part of my house that I allow to be cluttered, though: I keep the rest simple to allow my mind to be free. Music also provides inspiration while I'm working, as does my pet rabbit, Boo Radley.


"Only a very small percentage of the population makes it into galleries, but if art is in a café, shopping area, or airport, a much larger and diverse audience gets to see it."


AU: What is one of your favorite quotes or piece of advice you have been given towards being an artist?

SH: "I've been terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." Georgia O'Keefe


AU: Did you ever think you would be anything else but an artist?

SH: I remember having a moment when I was really small, where I wanted to be an opera singer and then a belly dancer, and I think it's because my mother was into these things. Around the age of seven, I knew that I wanted to be an artist and I started drawing a lot. At school it was all I wanted to do: sometimes I'd get caught doodling in class, and get reprimanded by my teachers.


AU: What has someone said about your artwork that resonates with you today?

SH: About 15 years ago, I sold 2 collage-assemblage boxes to a woman in Santa Fe, one of which being a tongue-in -cheek, all female version if "The Last Supper", with text hand painted around the border. She told me that the reason she liked my work was that it was very unique, and that it looked like it could only have come from my mind. I took this as a huge compliment!


AU: How do you go about managing your time between your personal and creative life?

SH: I generally work in waves, creating art for exhibitions or freelance jobs where there's a deadline... I do best with some structure. Making art is very solitary, so for me it's important to balance this with social time with friends, and time outdoors. I really enjoy the times of intense creativity, when my mind is totally engrossed in what I'm doing, but also value the importance of having closeness and dialogue with people and things that keep me inspired.

Learn more about Susan Haynsworth and purchase her original artwork at her Artist page. Head over to the Print Store to buy a giclée print by Haynsworth.

To read other installments of Inside the Artist's Studio, check out our conversations with Jon Measures and Johan Andersson.





Art Unified artist Jon Measures has been with us since the beginning, and we're stoked to have him in the Art Unified family. Measures has captured the complexity and intricacy of cityscapes from around the world, all the while employing a mixed media method that is all his own. Images that begin as digitally edited photographs are then collaged and painted upon, resulting in a unique hybrid creative process that echoes the layering of history that slowly builds the cities that Measures portrays. Measures has been exhibiting extensively in Los Angeles for the past two years, and we're excited to share with you this glimpse of one of LA's coolest artists as he talks to Art Unified about Boyle Heights, obsessive list-making and why we need to let go of the starving artist stereotype.


"Los Angeles has become an important subject in my work. You could say that the city is my muse."


Art Unified: Were you classically trained? How did you discover your ability and unique style? 

Jon Measures: I went to college for 5 years. I did a Foundation in Art and Design at Mid-Cheshire College of Art and Design in England. This program really focused a lot on drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, design technique. My Bachelors was at Falmouth School of Art also in the UK. After the first year of working in different departments – photography, print, painting and sculpture – my BA was structured a little like an MFA in the US. I had a large studio space where I worked and every month I would take work into a room with a group of professors and do a critique. The instructors also came around to the studio spaces. The emphasis was less on technique and more on ideas. I was in the painting department but I did a lot of work that was 3D and installation type work. I also played an awful lot of table tennis and did quite a bit of drinking and dancing from what I can remember. 


AU: Where did you gather inspiration for your latest work of art? 

JM: The last piece of work I finished was a commissioned mixed media painting of the city of Oakland. I spent a couple of days shooting in Oakland, one day with the collector that was commissioning the work. We looked at different areas of the city and personally significant buildings such as their first house and the house by Lake Merit where the collector held her wedding reception. The photo shoot and spending time with the collector talking about the city was my main research.


AU: What research usually goes into the exploration of your artwork?

JM: My research involves a lot of looking, walking around cities, traveling to places for photo shoots but also reading and searching the web for connections. I get obsessed by relationships between organic growth patterns, cancer and urban sprawl and so I read articles about urbanism and the like. I'm currently working on a show called "Home" and so I am taking photographs of my own house as well as going to friends houses to shoot. I also read studies and articles, watch videos that talk about home, homelessness and related subjects. 


"I would like to think that my work is generally hopeful but I also think that beauty is almost always tinged with sadness."


AU: What emotions and moods do you feel your artwork best conveys? 

JM: My work is based in observation but it blends that observation with a subjective viewpoint and I am usually trying to capture the mood or energy of a place so the mood varies quite a bit from place to place. I would like to think that my work is generally hopeful but I also think that beauty is almost always tinged with sadness. The emotional aspect of the work is very important to me, far more so than the intellectual. 


AU: Who are some of your favorite artists? How does your artwork relate and/or differ from theirs?

JM: As big name artists go, Robert Rauschenberg is always the first to come to mind, David Hockney was my boyhood hero but I have rediscovered a deep respect for his work just recently. I feel a strong connection to him because of our north of England roots and living in LA. Joseph Beuys and Francis Bacon were two hugely influential figures in my college days. It's also hard not to be impressed by Gerhard Richter both for his abstract paintings and his photo realism. 


AU: What are some positive responses you have had towards your work?

JM: People are generally polite and say nice things but the greatest compliment is when someone buys the work. It's easy to say that you like something, it's harder to hand over hard earned cash and commit to be the steward of a piece of art. I have the deepest appreciation for all the collectors that make my life as an artist possible. 


AU: Has there been a moment where you wanted to give up a career as an artist? Why did you continue to pursue a career in art?

JM: I have thought about giving up of course, ultimately you have to commit to something in life and do that as well as you can. I really always knew that it had to be art that I commit 100%. Everyday is a matter of trying to improve. When I first met my wife she asked if I had to choose between giving up art or her, which would it be. I know what I was meant to say and that the question is clearly ridiculous but I had to answer that I couldn't imagine what giving up art would mean. It's a little like asking if you would give up breathing. 


"I am not religious but art is the closest thing I have to a religion… Making art is a quest for truth or understanding."


AU: Has there been a moment where you struggled or hit rock bottom? How did art help you through it?

JM: When I first left college I went through a period of feeling that art was pointless, it seemed most people didn't care and it didn't seem to help in any practical way. This is when I started working as a designer. I never stopped making art but now I do feel that art makes a very important contribution to culture and global dialogue. The lowest point in my life was when my wife and I went through a difficult time in our marriage and we almost got divorced. Art was partly to blame for that, but also was my solace. It is very comforting to know that no matter what I will always have art as a friend and a way to process life. 


AU: Is there a particular person in your life that supported you as an artist?

JM: My Dad was the head graphic design for Rolls-Royce Motors and taught me to draw and paint from a very early age. He was fascinated by buildings - especially derelict buildings for a time while I was young – so I went drawing with him. I still use the countless little bits of advice he gave me. He took me to my interview for my Foundation course and for a degree course at Chelsea School of Art. He also drove me down when I first started college at Falmouth. When I felt bad about leaving the family to live in the US and pursue my dreams he told me I should go. The other person who has become my greatest support over the last few years is my wife. She is honest enough to tell me the truth about what I'm doing and that is invaluable. It's essential to be around people that support what you are trying to do and not around those that are hostile or resentful towards your passion for art or whatever it is you choose to do. 


AU: How have you been able to afford life as an artist? What have been some drawbacks and some advantages?

JM: I worked for many years as a graphic designer and it was certainly easier to make a living by doing that kind of work but I am building a collector base and my worked is starting to be known and so it is gradually becoming easier. I also have the stability of a regular paycheck by teaching two classes a semester at colleges. I have also supplemented my income by doing talks about my work. I used to be completely overwhelmed by the prospect of making a living as an artist but these days I actually really am enjoying the challenge and I treat it very much as you would any other business. 


"I have the deepest appreciation for all the collectors that make my life as an artist possible."


AU: What about Southern California made you decide to create your work here?

JM: I ended up in Los Angeles in the late 1980's. I was offered a chance to paint pictures. At the time I was working as a paste-up artist in a London print shop and not very happy with the cost of living in London, my room-mates, or my job so, moving to LA to paint pictures sounded like something to jump at. I worked for Tony Guetta, the older brother of Mr. Brainwash the street artist made famous in the film "Exit Through The Gift Shop", before Thierry Guetta had become Mr. Brainwash. I went back to England for a few months, when I returned I met my wife and stayed. Los Angeles has become an important subject in my work. You could say that the city is my muse. 


AU: Are there particular places in Southern California that you've drawn inspiration from? 

JM: Boyle Heights, my home for the past 22 years has probably been the subject of more work that any other area. I also love the Watts Towers and Palm Springs. 


AU: What is your studio or preferred place of work? What is it like working there? 

JM: I have a studio that my father-in-law built at the end of my garden. It has some problems, I need a larger space and more light. I am currently working on plans to enlarge the structure, raise the ceiling height and add windows at the top and skylights in the roof. I also need to add a sink and a toilet, level the concrete floor and add built in storage space. I am extremely lucky to have the space I have, a studio is very important for most artists to really be able to work. 


AU: Are there particular habits you have while you work? 

JM: I don't always do this but I'm trying to get into the habit of always putting everything away at the end of the day. I like to start the day by getting set up to work getting water choosing colors, laying everything out, etc. My work goes through stages though so, some days are spent taking pictures, some days are working on the computer in my home office and some days are painting in the studio. Wearing painting clothes gets me in that frame of mind.


AU: How do you go about managing your time between your creative and personal life? 

JM: This is tricky; I like to run. I think it's a good thing to have something like running, surfing, yoga, etc. Something that gives you time to think but not to work, a hobby and a physical hobby is good because art is so mental and emotional. When my kids were growing up and I was working doing design, art took a back seat and that was a real conflict in my life because I pretty much always want to be making art. 


"When I first met my wife she asked if I had to choose between giving up art or her, which would it be. I know what I was meant to say, but I had to answer that I couldn't imagine what giving up art would mean. It's a little like asking if you would give up breathing."


AU: Have you taken part in a spiritual journey or traveled to improve or change your perspective of art? What did you discover?

JM: I think in many ways being an artist is a spiritual journey. I am not religious but art is the closest thing I have to a religion and there are times when I'm making art that everything feels perfect, like you are completely in "flow". Making art is a quest for truth or understanding. I have been on physical journeys also for my work, last year I did a road trip across the US and back for my solo show PLACE at Space Gallery, this was a journey I had wanted to take for a very long time and having done the journey I am definitely changed. I now feel more connected to the country and have a better understanding of it's vastness. 


AU: What are some goals you have set forth for yourself as an artist?

JM: I am rather obsessive about making lists. I make lists for each day and then I make planning lists for the medium and long term. So, the abridged version of my short term list today is: do this interview, wash brushes, glue down "Commuting" and make a label for the back. Midterm goals: Renovate studio and finish book design. Long term goals, get gallery representation in New York and London among other places. Be involved in art fairs and get work into museum collections internationally. 


AU: Given the trajectory of art, where do you see art heading in the future and your role in it? 

JM: I see art becoming a little more mainstream. The Internet is helping to propagate this trend. I think artists are become more business savvy and it's becoming more of a profession. I would like to see the image of the struggling artist, wrought with angst shed and traded for one that is a more healthy image. I see myself doing what I do and developing as an artist both artistically and professionally now until I die. 


AU: What are some stereotypes of being an artist have you discovered? Are any of them true for you and what ways have you differed?

JM: I think the "Van Gogh" image of the tortured artist is one that persists. It's very romantic but it does a disservice to young artists who sometimes feel they need to clothe themselves in the trappings of despair. Artists are also often portrayed as dreamers, lazy and unorganized. From my own experience artists are practical, hard working and often highly organized because without these qualities it's very hard to do this as a career. 


"It does a disservice to young artists who sometimes feel they need to clothe themselves in the trappings of despair."


AU: Are there aspects of the art world that you do not approve of? Did any of those reasons lead you to move towards Art Unified? 

JM: It is usual for artists to be very cynical about the way art interacts with commerce but I am very practical about it. It's a business. For me to be able to live as an artist I have to sell work and I try whatever works to that end. I appreciate the role of galleries and the difficulties they face in this new online and social media-oriented world. Art Unified is yet another model for exposing people to the work, who perhaps wouldn't go to galleries. Any way that I can reach people and get my work in front of a broader audience has to be a good thing.


AU: What has your experience been with Art Unified? How did you get involved?

JM: Art Unified approached me after seeing my work online. I think I was one of the first artists that they asked to join them. I have shown and sold work with Art Unified for some time now. They have done especially well at selling prints of my work. They work really hard for the artists and for a relatively new operation they have been very well organized. I'm pretty sure that we will have a long working relationship. 


AU: What is one of your favorite quotes or piece of advice you have been given towards being an artist? 

JM: I like the statement "Trust The Process". It was the title of a book I read years ago. I don't remember a whole lot from the book, to be honest, but I do very much trust the process.

Learn more about Jon Measures and purchase his original artwork at his Artist page. Head over to the Print Store to buy a limited edition giclée print by Measures.

Photos courtesy of Eric Minh Swenson.






This week at Art Unified, we hung out with Art Unified artist and co-founder Johan Andersson as he painted his new series-in-progress; placed artwork at Feed on Abbot Kinney; fangirl-ed and fanboy-ed over Art Unified artist, Raúl de la Torre; and released a new set of limited edition giclée prints.

To read more, check out this week's Art Unified newsletter here.



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Here at Art Unified, we're constantly striving to break down the barriers between artists and art lovers. So when Art Unified artist and co-founder Johan Andersson invited us to take a sneak peak at his latest series-in-progress, we saw it as an opportunity to share with our fellow art lovers a glimpse inside the artist's studio. We snapped a few shots of Andersson at work, and listened to him dish about his creative process, who he believes would get seated at a modern-day Last Supper, and what's up with the Los Angeles art culture.

Art Unified: What inspired this new series?

Johan Andersson: I think all of my series have always had juxtaposition in the concept, and visually, there’s always this paradox going on in the paintings, like with the Stolen Faces series and Brand for Life. It’s questioning something in society that really annoys me, or trying to get a message across in a thought-provoking way or a clever way. And I think with the new series, it was along the theme of taking and challenging traditional notions of religion and trying to say through these paintings that, actually, the religion is not what’s important, it’s relationship. And through this series, like the Last Supper and the heroin addict holding Jesus, it’s trying to show that people who are overlooked and are outcasts in society are people that in Biblical times Jesus would have actually hung out with.

I wanted to make the painting very irreligious, so it can actually reach a bigger audience. I don’t even want it to necessarily be a ‘Christian’ painting or anything like that. I want it just to tell the truth, which is taking a Biblical scene into our modern day culture and seeing, okay, who would be the person that would have been sitting with Jesus at the table in The Last Supper? Who would he have been close to? It’s replacing Biblical figures with modern day people. 

In those days, lepers had to announce their uncleanliness. They had to shout it, so that no one could look at them. So for Him to touch someone like that was so against the Jewish laws and traditions in those days… but He would cut through that and still go to those kind of people. The tax collectors were despised. The Samaritans were despised. These people were isolated from society - it was so extreme in those days. Who are those kind of people today? That we judge, that we isolate and condemn?  When you look at the types of people He hung out with, even the main disciples, it would have been people that were the equivalent of the Samaritan or tax collector. In these days, the equivalent of that could be an extreme fundamentalist or terrorist. 

I wanted to show that. I wanted to show that painting can tell a story raise questions. That’s the biggest thing in my work - to try to raise questions, rather than anything else. 

AU: In the past you've mainly focused on painting portraits of individuals, and this series represents a departure from your old work. What's it like painting with larger canvases and larger scenes and have you had any struggles in making that transition?

JA: Yeah, I painted Stolen Faces very big - even bigger than this current series. If anything for me, it makes it easier. I paint better on a bigger scale, for some reason, and I manage to get the trajectory right because I use big brushes and big brush strokes. 

And it’s still portraiture, even though it’s figurative. I think that’s always been my way of communicating, through my paintings, that I wouldn’t be able to do through abstract or landscapes. I think it’s just a tool to express what I have to say. Through using figures and people, it conveys the most powerful message. Storytelling has always been through characters and people we can relate to.

AU: You grew up and attended university in London. What are some major differences you've noticed between the London and Los Angeles art scenes?

JA: The London art scene is far more conceptual than in Los Angeles, in my opinion. I think it’s… there’s more of an intellectual aspect to it. Too much in a way, where creativity can be taken out of it. It’s very much about how you talk about your work. Obviously, the scene is thriving in London and New York through the gallery scene, which I think at the same time as very commercial. There’s this kind of confusion going on, because people want to make work that’s really challenging and conceptual, but at the same time, they have to try and gear towards commercialism to sell stuff by way of art fairs and events and galleries, which have control - this gives off mixed messages to artists. That’s what we’re trying to challenge with Art Unified.

AU: So do you think that something like Art Unified could work in London or New York? Or do you think that galleries have a stronghold on that culture? I know that there are strong street art presences, but those can be pretty polarized cultures.

JA: I think they can work, down the line. But I prefer to go to areas where there is more need, where there’s no bridge for artists. If there are plenty of galleries around, that’s great because they can meet the needs of a lot of artists. But in spaces like Los Angeles, where there’s no center and no way of connecting artists, with a few galleries scattered all over the place, I feel like there’s no hub or connection for them to utilize their creativity through placements and selling work. And, galleries can be very exclusionary and limited - they’ll tell artists, don’t exhibit anywhere within this radar around this space. There are a lot of rules that come with them. I think that in New York and London they have stronghold on the scene there. I would prefer to go to places where there’s not as thriving an art scene, no connection for artists or a bridge that meets the gap for artists in selling their work.

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We're excited to announce the launch of our new White Glove Service! Unlike anything else before it, our White Glove Service allows art enthusiasts and collectors to preview and buy art from emerging, contemporary Los Angeles artists. Rather than having to navigate multiple physical galleries or art brokers, artworks selected through the White Glove Service are professionally delivered to your home. Art can be tested on a consignment basis for one week, then returned or purchased, as well as purchased outright through our online art store.

Upon delivery of the consigned or purchased creation, the artist of the piece will also accompany the White Glove delivery, to consult with the recipient of their art. While we hang the selected artworks, artists will answer questions, give insight into the inspiration and share their thoughts on each piece.

To learn more about our White Glove Service, click here.

To read the full press release for this service, click here.





We’re excited to announce the addition of Ewan David Eason’s Mappa Mundi Los Angeles fine art giclée print! Each print is numbered (limited edition of 30 prints) and signed by the artist and come with both a Certificate of Authenticity and Art Unified vinyl decal.


Meet Art Unified Artists at West Elm Santa Monica!


Meet Art Unified Artists at West Elm Santa Monica!


Art Unified is collaborating with West Elm Santa Monica (1433 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401)! Come join us for a meet and greet with artists Johan Andersson, Dan Monteavaro and Jon Measures. They will be there answering questions about their limited edition gicleé prints (available for sale at West Elm), what inspires them, and their creative process. Food and drinks will be provided.

Learn more about the artists and limited edition gicleé prints here.

Art Unified is based out of Venice, CA and helps emerging and established Los Angeles-based artists promote and sell artwork by connecting them to local businesses and partners. To learn more about Art Unified, visit us here.





We're excited to announce the release of two limited edition Mappa Mundi Los Angeles prints (edition of 50), available on black or white background. These prints were produced by Art Unified in collaboration with artist Ewan Eason.

They're made with UV ink on di-bond and we'll also be including a Certificate of Authenticity and Art Unified vinyl decal with each order!